Undergraduate & honours qualifications

Bachelor of Music

Qualification code: 90089
NQF level: 7
Total credits: 360
SAQA ID: 101510
APS/AS: 20
This qualification consists of 27 modules. The current BMus programme, known as the Bachelor of Music in Musicology, will be phased out from 2019 onwards, and replaced with the new BMus, Bachelor of Music degree. All incoming students will register for the new programme. Students currently in the old programme will have until 2023 to finish this programme, with 1st level subjects offered until the end of 2018, 2nd level until the end of 2019, and 3rd level until the end of 2020. Opportunities to re-register for failed subjects will be offered for four years after the end of each level, with an additional year to take supplementary and special exams, i.e., until the end of 2021 for 1st level, 2022 for 2nd level and 2023 for 3rd level. Thereafter, students will be transitioned into the new programme. Students who have completed less than 50% of the old programme will be transitioned into the new programme in 2019 (1st level) and 2020 (2nd level). Students who have completed more than 50% of the old programme will have until 2023 to complete their degrees and will be permitted to finish this qualification, uninterrupted, as per the policies and rules of the University. There are certain special cases for particular modules, as shown below: BA electives: Students, who have completed up to 24 credits of BA modules in terms of the electives for the Bachelor of Music in Musicology at 1st level, or 36 credits at 2nd level, will be exempt from a similar number of credits for specific modules in the new Bachelor of Music degree. Some of the pre-requisites and/ or co-requisites outlined in this qualification may not apply as they do not form part of the curriculum. Students should note that during the course of their studies they would be required to have access to a computer or laptop, printer and the internet.
Purpose statement:
This qualification prepares qualifying students to function as professional musicians, composers, music industry specialists, and music scholars. Qualifying students will have specialist knowledge and skills in African music, composition studies, music technology, musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and the music business. They will be able to interpret music from historical and oral sources, compose music in a range of popular, jazz, and art music styles, and orchestrate combinations of African and Western musical instruments. On completion of their studies students are qualified for careers as professional musicians as composers, producers, and researchers, or in collaboration with other musicians in recording, editing, and mastering professional work for the recording industry. Graduates will be qualified to work in the music business and the creative arts industries in general. Graduates will also be qualified to work in the educational sector, as music critics and writers, and as composers and producers for film, television, radio, and broadcast media. Graduates will be qualified to conduct basic research, and for admission to postgraduate studies in musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and composition studies.
This qualification will be presented using both online and distance learning modes.

Who can register?

  • Applicants (new applicants & Unisa students who applied for admission to a new qualification) may only register if they have received an offer of placement from Unisa and have accepted the offer online. Unisa reserves the right to not process and / or to cancel your registration if it is found that you were incorrectly admitted to a qualification. 
  • Re-registering students may register for the 2024 academic year once the registration period opens.

Please note: Should you wish to start a new qualification, please apply online for the alternative qualification during the prescribed application period.

How to choose your modules

Each Unisa qualification is structured in such a way that you need to pass a certain number of NQF level credits within a certain amount of time in order to graduate.

  • Co-requisite: Module A is a co-requisite for Module B. You want to register for Module B, but have not yet passed Module A. You must then register for both Modules A and B simultaneously. You may NOT cancel your registration for Module A unless Module B is also cancelled.
  • Pre-requisite: If Module A is a pre-requisite for Module B, you must pass Module A before you may register for Module B.

You may not register for more than the allowed maximum number of credits / modules per academic year and / or semester: 60 credits per semester or 120 credits per academic year.

The maximum number of credits do not include supplementary and / or aegrotat examinations from a previous semester. Modules taken for non-degree / non-diploma purposes also count towards the maximum number of credits allowed.

You must take your available time into consideration when choosing your modules, as this will impact your academic performance. You need approximately

  • 6 to 8 hours per week for semester modules.
  • 4 to 6 hours per week for year modules.

Click here for more information on managing your studies.

Curriculum for this qualification

While you are deciding on the modules for which you will be registering, write down the module names and codes so that you have something to refer to when completing your registration.

Please click on the modules below to see further information (eg semester/year module, NQF level)

First level

Second level

ARH2601 pre-requisite is ARH1501, however, this module is not part of the curriculum.

Module (Please click on the module to see further information) Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory.
ARH2601 - The Arts and Ideology I Pre-requisite:ARH1501
CST2611 - Music Theory and Composition II Pre-requisite:CST1511
Recommendation:The pre-knowledge structure requires a student to be able to successfully manipulate diatonic harmony, simple chromaticism and two-part counterpoint as covered in CST1511, before embarking on complex chromatic harmony and three-part counterpoint, as dealt with in the current module.
CST2612 - Music Technology II: MIDI Pre-requisite:CST1512
MHS2611 - Classic and Romantic Music Pre-requisite:MHS1511
MHS2612 - Music in Postcolonial Africa Pre-requisite:MHS1512
MHS2613 - Music Business Pre-requisite:MNB1501
MHS2614 - Jazz Studies
PLS2601 - Critical Reasoning
RSC2601 - Research in Social Sciences

Third level

Module (Please click on the module to see further information) Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Recommendation
Group A. Compulsory.
CST3711 - Music Theory and Composition III Pre-requisite:CST2611
Co-requisite:CST3713 and CST3714
CST3712 - Music Technology III: Sound Production Pre-requisite:CST2612
CST3713 - Instrumentation and Orchestration Pre-requisite:CST2611
Co-requisite:CST3711 and CST3714
CST3714 - African Composition Pre-requisite:CST2611
Co-requisite:CST3711 and CST3713
MHS3711 - Modernism and Twentieth Century Music Pre-requisite:MHS2611
MHS3712 - Theory of African Music Pre-requisite:MHS2612
MHS3713 - Psychology of Music Pre-requisite:PYC1501
Recommendation:CST1511 or UNISA Grade 5 in Music theory
MHS3714 - Opera and Choral Music Pre-requisite:MHS2611
MHS3715 - Popular Music